Memphis - ancient capital

Memphis (Arabic: ممفس; Egyptian Arabic: ممفيس) is the English name for the present-day site of one of the great ancient capital cities of Egypt, located in and around several villages some 24 km (11 miles) south of the actual Egyptian capital of Cairo. Although very little remains to be seen on the surface, Memphis features a great sculpture museum and allows an evocative insight into both ancient greatness and modern Egyptian rural life.
The ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis was first established towards the end of the 4th millennium BCE by the Pharaoh Narmer, at the time of his Unification of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The boundary between the Two Lands was located close to the ancient city and its foundation was therefore imbued with a certain amount of political symbolism. Memphis remained the capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom period, at the time when the great Pyramids were being built. Central power returned to the city when the New Kingdom pharaohs made it once again Egypt's northern and main administrative capital, alongside the religious and ceremonial capital at Luxor in the south. Memphis was the chief cult city of the Egyptian god of wisdom and craftsmanship, Ptah. Although little remains of their achievements today, having been revaged by the depredations of time, the flood plain environment and the cannabilism of its stone for the building of medieval Cairo, the pharaohs and priests of Ptah once endowed the city with vast temple complexes and built their cemeteries on the desert hills adjoining it to the east and to the west.
This text is derived from an article Memphis (Egypt) on Wikivoyage.




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